A rather extreme blog title, I know. I didn't die on the Dunwich Dynamo and as far as I'm aware no one else did. However, a part of me felt like it went away and hid in a dark place and I haven't yet been able to coax it out. Turns out that part of me is pretty crucial to life and I need it back. Blogging is about opening yourself up to the ups and downs that come with life. Here's my best shot:
On Saturday night I joined 2000 cyclists to cycle the 120 miles from East London to the beach in Dunwich, Suffolk. This annual event, held on the full moon in July is known as the Dunwich Dynamo. I've heard great things about this ride, more of a community excursion than an organised race or sportive type event. You start at the pub at 8pm and finish at the beach sometime after 5am, with plenty of pub and road side stops to keep you hydrated and fed along the way.
Unfortunately I didn't have a great time. Upon arriving at the beach at 6:30am, I really felt like I had brought a black cloud to Dunwich that day. Tired, cold, ill and sticky from sweat, dirt and energy bars I could just about muster the energy to ask "What's the quickest way back to London?"
To put things in perspective - I didn't even take ANY photos!! This is virtually unheard of for me. No matter how cold, hungry or tired I have been whilst cycling, climbing or adventuring - I have always taken photos and put on a smile for the camera. Not this time. It makes me laugh looking back on it now - how sorry I was feeling for myself. I couldn't shake the thought that in 7 weeks time I would have to cycle that distance and then run a marathon in much hillier terrain for Ironman Wales. The only thing I wanted was to be back in London, in bed.
Since then, I've been struggling with life. It's just a cold, right, we get them all the time... So why has it affected me so much?
I've been struggling with what feels like the world at my finger tips, but not feeling like I have the motivation to make the most of it. The power of the mind is immense. How often have I decided I feel a certain way and low and behold, that's the way I've felt. I know this is something that happens, I try to avoid it but sometimes I can't. It's almost as though I don't want to. It works both ways - when you are feeling on top of the world and you tell yourself, you feel great. When you are feeling like you want to hide from the world and tell yourself, this self-confirmation can be tough to move forward from.
After the Dunwich Dynamo, I've had this cold making me feel ill. This has affected my Ironman training (now less than 7 weeks away). Whilst I work towards lining up my next work opportunities, I create my own structure, focus and motivation. There is no reason for me to get up in the morning at 6am to train, network, write, learn, eat healthily... other than achieving the goals I have set for myself. This week I have felt like doing none of this.
Is it my cold? Is it the standards I place on myself about how much progress I should be making? Is it the fact that I am running out of time and money to make my dreams happen?
I don't feel as though I am making the most of opportunities, life and time right now. Most of the time - that thought will spur me on to go out and make stuff happen. This week, it's made me want to do the opposite.
Top of my 'To Do List' this week was to write an article about how to stay motivated in sports. I received some great suggestions from twitter followers but have not written more than the first sentence yet. Turns out it is difficult to write about motivation when you are not feeling motivated yourself.
Now I've written this post, no doubt I will feel stronger. Any suggestions you have to help me would be warmly received. Perhaps I need to go out on a ride with someone, perhaps I need to change tactics, one thing is for certain - I need to be more proactive.
Nothing will happen unless I make it happen. Today I have the power to create, I just need to change the way I think and feel.
Here's to moving forward and making stuff happen.